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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

THE SKEPTIC CASE. FOLDER 54. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY.

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    In this entry, Mitrokhin draws upon KGB sources to describe Boris Yakovlevich Krilov (“Maximilian”), an agent from the KGB’s First Chief Directorate, who was responsible for the surveillance of Soviet citizens. Maximilian’s duties led him to investigate a certain Nikitin about whom the latter compiled the following entry.
    "The Skeptic Case. Folder 54. The Chekist Anthology.," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110786
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[Translation unavailable. See original. Detailed summary below.]

In this entry, Mitrokhin draws upon KGB sources to describe Boris Yakovlevich Krilov (“Maximilian”), an agent from the KGB's First Chief Directorate, who was responsible for the surveillance of Soviet citizens. Maximilian's duties led him to investigate a certain Nikitin about whom the latter compiled the following entry:

KGB's account of Maximilian's entry indicates that as a native of Moscow, Yuri Vasilevich Nikitin (b. 1949) worked as a radio technician at a Soviet factory, but lived in Kuntsev. Beginning in 1975 Nikitin constantly visited the Historical Library where he studied philosophical absurdity and read the works of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Freud. Nikitin also sought to learn an ancient Indian language and rejected Marxism and Leninism. Maximilian came to the conclusion that Nikitin believed that truth in life simply did not exist, and that life was meaningless. The KGB file further revealed that Maximilian learned that Nikitin had served in the army, and had subsequently graduated from the Ordzhonikidze Engineering and Economics Institute. Nikitin had nonetheless worked as an ordinary laborer in order to devote more time to finding truth and meaning in life. As related by the KGB entry, Maximilian had ascertained that in 1973 Nikitin had written a treatise called “In Search of Truth.” Nikitin had adopted the pseudonym of Skeptic L.E, and had written the treatise in the form of 1,131 aphorisms. Quoting from the KGB file, Mitrokhin reveals that Maximilian had further discovered that Nikitin had written a book whose context described the mysticism behind good and evil. The book, entitled Cosmic Tale, envisions an undiscovered planet in which life is heavenly and just. Cosmic Tale also describes the fictional arrival of the “Good Human” to Earth.

The entry mentions that Maximilian portrays Nikitin as a nihilist—a pessimist with an anti-Soviet attitude which he expresses by discussing issues such as tyranny, freedom, power, Soviet propaganda, and Marxist-Leninist ideology.

As related by Mitrokhin, Maximilian asserted that before 1972 Nikitin was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and believed in the ideals of communism. Moreover, Nikitin had worked as an engineer and had largely fulfilled his civic duties. The KGB file stated, however, that Maximilian had discovered that Nikitin had been a lecturer in the All-Union Society “Znanie.” In 1969, Nikitin met a fellow Ordzhonikidze Institute student who attracted Nikitin with his intellect. Mitrokhin mentions that Maximilian related how Nikitin had often met with the student, who frequently recited poetry. It was later revealed that the student had been a member of an illicit organization. As recorded by Mitrokhin, Maximilian related that Nikitin was consequently removed from the CPSU and from his position as an engineer. In essence, Nikitin no longer aroused much interest in anyone. Ever since, Nikitin “could not bear to hear any more about the Soviet Communist Party which aroused much annoyance with its presence.” Mitrokhin mentions that Maximilian had discovered that Nikitin had been friends with Sergey Borisovich Korolev (b. 1946), a Ukrainian who worked as a senior scientist at a physiological laboratory. Korolev had been a graduate of the Moscow State University's Mechanics/Mathematics Department. The KGB entry also reveals that Korolev had possessed “Nikolai and Alexandra,” a U.S.-published book with an anti-Soviet context.

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